When you hear the word saint, you think of God-like men and women who were alive centuries ago. At the very least, you don’t think about people who are actually living today when you think about saints, but there are. This man spent his life doing something so “saint-like” that his name will be remembered long after his body has been buried.
Dobri Dobrev, who was born on July 20, 1914, was a man with the spirit of a saint.
In fact, Dobri was actually known as “the Saint from the village Bailovo” because of what he did each and every day for the people in his community. Every morning, the old man would walk 15 miles to the capital of Sofia in Bulgaria to stand in front of the Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky.
While he was a religious man, he wasn’t there to speak to a priest or to preach his sermon on the corner.
Dobri arrived at the church every single day to ask for donations. But, you see, Dobri wasn’t asking for donations for himself. Dobri was asking for donations to help out others who were in need.
Throughout the years, Dobri managed to raise over $44,000 in donations from caring people at the church.
According to Daily Buzz, Dobri gave every single dime that he had collected to charities, to restoring churches, and to help orphanages pay their bills. Despite the fact that he had collected so much money, Dobri survived on a meager pension of around $100 a month.
Then, in 2000, Dobri gave all of his possessions, including his home, to the Orthodox church in Bailovo.
Ever since then, Dobri had lived a non-materialistic, selfless lifestyle. After devoting his life to God, Dobri said: “God gives me bread.” Even though Dobri had a bed of his own, he has always preferred sleeping on the floor.
More often than not, the people who have stopped to speak to the old man, who says that “God is the way,” have broken down into tears from simply being in his presence.
In a 2000 film called “Mite,” Dobri said: “The goodwill is just and true. Everything in it is good. We must not lie, nor steal, nor commit adultery. We must love each other as God loves us.”
Dobri spent his entire life giving to the needy, but he never felt the need to put his good deeds on display.
Considering that he wore homemade clothes and simple sandals, the old wise man with the long white beard looked more like a wizard than a man. The townspeople adored him, and quite frequently offered to pay for his bus fare when he could no longer walk the 15 miles to town. Unsurprisingly, Dobri always refused the offers. “Dobri is an extremely rare phenomenon,” said Bishop Tikhon from the Alexander Nevski cathedral.
This “Living Saint” was able to bring light to a community that had suffered through an incredible amount of darkness.
Sadly, one day the townspeople stopped seeing “Grandpa Dobri” outside of the church. At the age of 103, Dobri passed away on February 13, 2018. According to Nova.bg, Dobri was laid to rest in the churchyard next to the small building where he had lived next to the church since 2000. Dobri may be gone from this world, but his kind, giving spirit will live on to inspire others to help as he did.
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